Ferrari ready to unveil Alonso

New deal could force Raikkonen to join Hamilton at McLaren next season

As Ferrari plan to announce the signing of Fernando Alonso for 2010 very soon, their injured driver Felipe Massa is preparing to race again in a Brazilian karting event amid rumours that he might participate in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 1 November.

The 28-year-old Brazilian sustained serious head injuries during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of July after being struck on the helmet at high speed by a spring which had become detached from the rear of fellow countryman Rubens Barrichello's Brawn-Mercedes, which was running ahead of him. Massa has since undergone surgery to insert a titanium plate in his forehead, and is said by close friends to be "bored and restless and ready to go racing again".

Ferrari's team principal, Stefano Domenicali, said on Sunday evening in Singapore: "He is doing every day a check with his doctor, but not an official medical check. He is working hard on the training and next week he should go into the karting activity."

Massa is also expected to travel to Europe in the week prior to the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos on 18 October – when he is scheduled to make his first public appearance since the accident – in order to conduct a session in Ferrari's Formula One racing simulator in Maranello.

"It is too early to say that he might race this year," Domenicali continued. "We need to see it step by step, and we don't have to anticipate anything. He will be back 100 per cent but there is no need to anticipate anything if there is something that is not ready. I don't want to exclude anything, but we need to be cautious."

Another Ferrari spokesman added: "To be honest, it is unlikely that Felipe will race in Abu Dhabi, and there is no point to be in a hurry, But in Formula One we can never say never."

Ferrari may finally confirm their deal with Alonso as soon as this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, as they are known to be anxious to sort out their programme for 2010 now that the Renault "Crashgate" scandal has finally been laid to rest. The other factor that has delayed the announcement is the need to disentangle themselves from an ongoing contract with the 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, which has another year to run, clearing the way for the Finn to return to McLaren as Lewis Hamilton's partner. Domenicali said: "I think that as soon as we are ready we will let you know. We don't want to wait too long. Suzuka is a possibility, but it is not guaranteed."

The Alonso announcement is likely to trigger a raft of driver confirmations, among them Robert Kubica moving from BMW-Sauber to take Alonso's place as Renault team leader alongside McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen, and Nico Rosberg moving from Williams to Brawn. The latter are still arguing over financial matters with Jenson Button, who was tipped to win the 2009 title by the McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, after Sunday's race in Singapore.

If Button stays, Barrichello is expected to take Rosberg's place at Williams, but if terms cannot agreed with Button there is a chance that Barrichello could stay at Brawn, with Button's only alternative being to go back to Williams, the team that gave him his Formula One break back in 2000.

Chain reaction: Main drivers in the reshuffle

Fernando Alonso: Cleared after 'Crashgate', Spaniard likely to join Ferrari at end of season

Felipe Massa: Recovery from head injury leaves Massa in line to return to Ferrari, joining Alonso and forcing out Raikkonen

Robert Kubica: May leave BMW-Sauber and take Alonso's ride at Renault

Heikki Kovalainen: McLaren driver may become No 2 driver to Kubica at Renault

Jenson Button: If he fails to agree a new deal at Brawn, may move to Williams

Nico Rosberg: Now at Williams, Rosberg may join Brawn if Button leaves

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments